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Retail Psychology: Why Shoppers Just Can’t Resist A Sale

retail sale signage

The percentage of retailers offering sales and promotions increased from just 15-20% 10 years ago to 40-45% today (and rising).

So why are more and more businesses offering more and more bargains? Beyond just the increasing pressures for lower prices from the likes of Amazon, Wal Mart and other big box retailers offering incredibly deep discounts, shoppers are getting more and more sophisticated.

Smartphone apps and mobile ecommerce sites mean customers can gather real-time pricing information and make apples to apples comparisons without having to drive all over town—a challenge many small business owners are faced with more and more every day.

But more than just saving a few bucks, the real reason shoppers can’t resist a sale has less to do with online shopping than it does with the psychology behind deals. As it turns out, finding a great bargain actually causes a chemical reaction in our brains—one that seems to keep shoppers coming back for more.

These are just a few of the interesting tidbits from a segment on the science of sales that aired recently. It’s just over 7 minutes and I highly recommend checking it out…

Why are most “sale” signs red? Which company invented the first company? What factoid or statistic from the clip did you find most interesting? Share your thoughts below.


[Image: Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski]

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